tv [untitled] July 6, 2011 3:00pm-3:30pm PDT
department of public health, my view is, these are folks who are looking at facts, looking at evidence based on scientific principles and data. how do you maintain an arms length relationship with either side? with any of these projects, you work. to have people who have very distinct perspectives. being san francisco, you may have 850,000 opinions. how do you maintain that arm's length? >> it is definitely a challenge. i think that what i try to do myself and try to encourage is, believe in your interpretation. believe in the facts and science. don't be afraid to ask another opinion so you can either be more confident and uphold. realize that you could --
realize that you could be wrong and have something to learn. it is difficult when you have so many voices pulling in lots of different directions. one of the things that i just learned to limit the scope -- medical school, you want to police people. you want to say things that make them feel good, right? it is very important to have trust in your professional judgment. you can listen. you can disagree, but maintain that. it is hard to beat in controversial situations. i think another thing that staff need to be more comfortable in is maintaining professional opinions in controversial situations. i think the risk is when there is controversy, there is more of a risk not of non-objectivity, but staying silent. i think that is the real risk. when public health people stay silent because they don't have the comfort of dealing in
controversial situations -- land use development, as we know, is controversial. supervisor campos: i think you are going to college as you see it and speak up when there is an issue. colleagues, i don't know if any of you have any questions for him. supervisor cohen? supervisor cohen: thank you. if you could summarize to the committee and public how the planning department look -- works with other agencies, in evaluating and mitigating environmental impact associated with the environmental development project. >> i would actually -- it would be great if representatives from the planning department could also speak to this. i don't want to be speaking to -- for the planning department.
from our perspective, there are three categories. one is the case of regulations, regulations that we enforce. for the planning department, when a new proponent comes from -- for a particular project, planning department staff look at that, see if any of our environmental rules are triggered, required. they will tell that -- they will make a referral. they will tell the project posed a proponent that he needs to get the soil analysis required -- requirement. they make sure they are captured by us and they wait. it is our judgment without interference from them about what an adequate soil analysis is and what medications they have to do. they make those requirements part of the project conditions. that is generally how it works with the new regulation.
when we are developing regulations, it is like the air quality assessment. there is a coordination. there are feasibility issues. they will help us bring the conversation about the environmental goal to the discuss the different feasible strategies in the process of developing the regulation. in the issue of environmental review, for certain iss air quality and noise, the planning department now, given our capacity, when they have a major project or controversy, or an issue, they make a referral to us to look at the environmental report. they will ask us to look early in the process to see if the analysis is adequate and correct, and they will take our opinions and analysis in consideration. we don't have -- they and their
commission make the final judgment. finally, on the proactive information, like the healthy development tool, there are no regulations. we typically will, when we do one of these evaluations, we will bring to the planning department and project proponent our analysis and a set of recommendations. we will have a dialogue with them. "ok, we can do these things. we cannot do these things." those have to do with improving the neighborhood, like improving parks and transportation conditions. supervisor campos: final question before we open it for public comment. i know that there have been concerns about a specific project that has been raised. this is not the purpose of this in terms of our discussion. it is about the general guidelines to follow. what do you presently have in place, whether it is, you know,
a company, or an industry that your regulating, or the public has a specific complaint against one individual or other individuals in your department? what do you have in place to deal with that complaint were concerned? >> for any one of my regulators, for any regulation, land use or otherwise, if there is a complaint from the public that the inspector did not do their job, either myself or the director of regulatory programs will independently look at the claims. we will review the case record and the files. when i look at things, when i look at things, i tend to go back to the law. i read the law. if it is outdated, i look to see whether the science has changed and if we should be thinking about this differently. i look at -- sometimes there
have been past practices about an interpretation of the law that need to be revisited. i look at it from a policy approach. if the complaint -- people may not be satisfied with us. often, when somebody is not satisfied, they will go to you, one of the members of the board, and ask for you to review it. i have to explain it to you. my director may ask me to explain it. the mayor's office may ask me to explain it. in a few circumstances, we have had a few circumstances -- in one circumstance, we have asked outside federal and state agencies to review our work. supervisor campos: thank you. why don't we open it for public comment? there are a number of members of the public who are here to speak on this item. again, thank you for your presentation.
this -- [reading names] why don't we begin with them? you will have two minutes. thank you to all the members of the public who have been waiting patiently for this hearing. welcome. >> good afternoon. i am from bayview hunters point. my understanding in the coming here was to discuss what was happening at a site in bay view hunters point, a shipyard that was closed in 1974. he talked about the regulatory agencies. in three minutes, i cannot give you the story of how this began. it began in 1990. we were having birthdays in -- earth days in bayview-hunters
point. they said in southern california they had rat boards. there were no closures in northern california. i had to raise my hand and state, i am from san francisco. the shipyard closed in 1974. as i am speaking to you today, there is a process going on to close the presidio. the advisory boards were set up to make sure that before any land would be transferred from the shipyard, that it could be approved by the board. because there were two other committees that had been set up, dealing with the shipyard, the citizens advisory committee, you had the redevelopment agency
that came later, the board spoke to whether or not that land would be transferred. in 2000, the year 2000, the voters voted and it was 87% of the voters who said, if any of the land is to be transferred from the shipyard to the city -- [tone] supervisor campos: thank you very much, ms. jackson. let me call more names. [reading names] >> good afternoon, supervisors. linda richardson. i have over 25 years of environmental justice. i am a land use expert. i want to bring to your attention something the new members of the board need to know once and for all.
the most comprehensive health assessment of any resident of san francisco was conducted in thebayview. -- the bayview. they got together with the department of public health. three people conducted the most comprehensive study. indicators had not been identified before. you should ask the department of public health. they established everything we know about the viewbayview. -- bayview. this was before the shipyard development. when the city created the department of environment, i wrote to the environmental just
piece. it was a development concept for the entire bayview huntesrs- point. article 31 came out, the most comprehensive set of regulations. what you have, you have local, state, and federal regulators. it is the bay area quality control. they have been very instrumental. it is something that you must all get a chance to see. [tone] supervisor campos: thank you. >> thank you. supervisor campos: next speaker. >> mr. chair and supervisors, the community has been engaged
in reviewing and discussing this issue surrounding regulation to clean up bayview-hunters point for more than a decade. no other site in the country has undergone as much investigation, remediation, community process. there are more than 30,000 ground water samples. more than $700 million has been spent on the cleanup of the site. article 31 of the health code called for additional oversight of the shipyard. it predated this. it was and still is the most unique program in the country that regulates and reviews construction at this level in detail to be protective of the public. multiple regulatory agencies charged with public health and the environment are calling for
the cleanup of the site. there have been peer reviews of the process implemented by dph. it has been concluded time and again that the shipyard does not pose a risk to human health or the environment. as recently as last year, the epa concluded that dph were utilizing best practices. there was no risk to the community on the site. opponents have been using false claims about the scientific realities of the site to intimidate decision-makers in the community in an effort to stop the economic revitalization of bayview-hunters point. the regulation is never perfect, but we must have multiple, independent regulatory agencies. supervisor campos: thank you,
sir. let me read a few more names. [reading names] good afternoon. >> it is clear in every area that we have people that are battling ethical issues. supervisor campos: speaking to the -- >> somebody was a bustedtweetib -- busted tweeting, emailing. she needed judgments based on evidence. she was dismissed. she told us plainly that she did not have to prove with scientific facts or presidents -- precedents. she said she did not have to give any sign to the facts or evidence.
she has also made everything that she stated on the record. what we want is everything she said, everything she had oversight, everything she had her hands on, we wanted to revisited, reviewed, and investigated. it is clear she violated the department of health's own principles. that is what we are asking for. supervisor campos: i ask that you refer your comments -- >> i apologize. how to do your job. how to make sure they can do this so we can pass this project forward. that is a violation. we wanted revisited, reviewed, and investigated, not by them, but by an independent party with your oversight. that is all we are requesting. let the chips fall where they fall. we want it reviewed, revisited,
and investigate it. we know we have a conspiracy and collusion. thank you. supervisor campos: thank you. i ask that you refer your comments to the committee, please. >> star miles, resident of bayview-hunters point. we need accountability. remove amy. the issue we are here to talk about accountability. we have no objection to additional training, but it does not get to the issue that we are here to address today. everything that the dph representatives involved in this cover up or commenting on the need to be reopened and investigated. there is testimony before you wall and it has impacted the decisions that this city made. everything her hands have touched needs to be examined.
now we know that their opinions were biased in an effort to conceal the true -- truth. it caused the community to be divided amongst each other. we're calling for the removal of the environmental engineer, amy brownell, and anyone else involved in the cover-up in the navy pier shipyard project. in december of 2009, the restoration advisory board held a vote of no-confidence in her. rather than taking these concerns seriously, the navy entirely. there has been a consistent practice of environmental racism. black, latino, samoan, and
lower-income children have been impacted by the health effects. thank you. supervisor campos: thank you very much. >> i want to thank you all for having this hearing today. we released a report as part of a coalition. 30 organizations nationally signed on. we did a freedom of information act request that went back to 2006. we reviewed hundreds of females that were going back and forth between the department of public health related to environmental review of the shipyard. i brought videotapes. hundreds of people were coming down here. we were door-knocking. people were getting rashes,
nosebleeds. it was literally plumes of dust coming over the community. it has been documented that throughout that time, lenar was not monitoring the dust. they did not have data. they said they forgot to put batteries in air monitors that were supposed to record how much asbestos was being released into the community. we have heavy metals that caused serious issues for everyone who breeds that in, especially children. we said, we need something to be done. the department of public health at that time, david was saying in general, i see we are trying to put together an argument that exposure was low, right? we need to put together an argument that exposure was low. it seems to me that the available facts are on our side. we should stay away from trying to create additional data.
more data may not help us. we can talk about this more directly. that is a serious violation of ethics. why are you trying to put together an argument that exposure is low? why do you not want more data? [tone] we also want to talk about amy. supervisor campos: thanks. thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i have been a resident for approximately 30 years. there is a question we must consider. is the health of the people of america for sale? is it something a corporation can buy? in the third world, that is all too often the case. we know about the people affected by the rain forest.
their health is being destroyed for corporations. we know about the people in the niger delta in nigeria. we have heard about jobs being moved to china. a few of the reports mentioned china is becoming one of the most toxic countries for its citizens. now it is america's turn. will the u.s. government sell the health of the people to corporations? we must answer now. we should have taken a stand sooner. we must take a stand now. no regulatory body of the government nor any of its employees can be permitted to collude with the corporations they are to regulate. where such collusion is found,
employees must be removed from office. thank you. supervisor campos: thank you, sir. next speaker? >> good afternoon, supervisors. daniel landry, for the record. i sat on that restoration advisory board in 2009 the past unanimous resolution to remove mrs. brownell. we felt at the time, after numerous times of dealing with the issue of the dust, and going to the department of health, there was no response. i stand before you today and say we need to revisit, reexamine, and investigate this issue. generally speaking, we are talking about accountability.
the doctor did not really explain the fact that when the commission, and even supervisors, make decisions as critical as the eir, our city is put in a compromise position. plenty of things have happened since 2006, dealing with this development and many projects in this city. now we have to book -- look very closely at every project because it is clear what is in the e- mails. it is clear what the epa, what happens with the epa. this is a story that goes on and on. generally speaking, we are not saying that the department of public health may not be doing something in this city that any other director would not do what they believe is right.
to pass a project as an expert is not acceptable. i sat on that advisory board and i voted. we were disbanded by the navy, which was irresponsible. we brought that before the supervisors. it went back and forth. here we are again. [tone] supervisor campos: thank you, sir. next speaker. sorry for mispronouncing your name. >> not a problem. i am with green action for health and environmental justice. on my way from another project that i have to take care of, it occurred to me that everything should or should have already been fixed. let me simply say that while your job as supervisors is not just to protect the district that you're directly elected for, ok, your job is to protect all of us. some of you have shown me that you took that very seriously.
i trust that you will do that in this case. it is not coincidental that we are here before you again. i personally went through these e-mails. in a few minutes, no. something has got to happen here. if they don't see it now, they will never see it. there are nice terms and beautiful -- i commend the doctor for his presentation. i think he was wonderful. all of those things that he put before us in the rare -- in the very beginning were valid. let me mention just one thing, and then i will let you do your own meeting. i think what you see with your own eyes and what you here with your own ears should tell the story. from an e-mail, from amy brownell, sent to the staff at lennar, she states, "i am sure you will also want to change my
wording." i am a little upset about this. i will not use any foul words. i promise you. "go ahead and change it anyway you want to. i may change some of that back, but i am willing to -- >> -- supervisor campos: let me ask you to finish reading the mail. >> i won't do that. i know we gave you the facts. my job is not to do your job for you. i would be betraying your trusted by did that. let me say for me and for grain action, and as a resident who lives in bayview-hunters point,
i have been raising my children and grandchildren, and my great- grandson, i find it appalling that our health department has attempted to save they cannot be trusted with the public's health. supervisor campos: thank you. >> i am with power. one of our members had to leave. she wrote this letter. "i have been a resident of bayview-hunters point since 1989. i will comment on the role of the representatives amybrownell. -- representative amy brownell. the department of public health was supposed to particularly protect the public's health near the to the limit. nearby residents began complaining of high levels of
dust and resulting health problems. there are numerous hearings due to the residents' concerns, yet the department of public health always diminished complaints and reassured the residents that their concerns were overblown. as a resident, i was concerned about the monitoring process and the apparent dismissal of the request for tests for toxins, particularly the most vulnerable young children. the presence of airborne asbestos is particularly prevalent. eventually, the plan was approved by the san francisco board of supervisors. now we have evidence that the very agency, the department of public health, that is supposed to be protecting, was collaborating with the the developer, lennar. this was -- all responsible parties must be held accountable immediately. the city must recognize its role in affecting the public health and safety. the many small children in bayview-hunters point ar